Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You is a Japanese shōjo romance manga by Karuho Shiina. It has been published by Shueisha in Bessatsu Margaret since 2005 and collected in 29 tankōbon volumes as of November 13, 2017. In 2008, it won the Best Shōjo Manga award in the 32nd Annual Kodansha Manga Award. The series was also nominated for the first Manga Taisho awards in 2008.
Sawako Kuronuma – dubbed Sadako by her classmates for her resemblance to the character from The Ring – has always been feared and misunderstood because of her appearance; rumors around school report that she can see ghosts and curse people. However, despite her ominous appearance, she is actually a sweet and timid girl who only longs to be able to make friends and be liked by everyone else. When her idol, the popular boy Kazehaya, begins talking with her, everything changes. She finds herself in a new world, making new friends and talking to different people, and she can’t thank Kazehaya enough for giving her these opportunities. Slowly, but surely, a sweet love blossoms between the two as they overcome circumstances and obstacles that stand in their way.
Originally planned on being a one-shot to be compiled in her previous work, Crazy For You, Shiina decided to expand the story and make it into a full series. It has been running in Japan in Bessatsu Margaret since the September 2005 issue of the magazine, with 29 compiled volumes as of November 13, 2017. Shiina took a break starting in the March 2009 issue to have a baby; serialization resumed in the October issue. With the release of the September 2017 issue of Betsuma, on August 12, 2017, Kimi ni Todoke entered its final arc. The series is licensed by Viz Media for an English-language North American release. The manga will conclude in November 2017.
- Sawako Kuronuma
- Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (anime), Mikako Tabe (live-action)
- Sawako is a shy yet honest girl in search of friendship, but her resemblance to the horror film character Sadako Yamamura makes this difficult. Her shy and modest nature prevents her from correcting people’s misconceptions, to the point that most of the school believes her name is, in fact, “Sadako.” She is rather short – a characteristic inherited from her father, who is only 160 cm tall – but during a soccer match at the school’s sports festival, it is revealed that she is surprisingly fast, to the point that some people believe she is teleporting. A running gag is that she takes everything people say very seriously, and tends to over-analyze a situation. When she is deep in thought, her dark appearance often terrifies her peers.
- Sawako has always desired friends and acceptance, and thanks to Kazehaya’s kindness, she gradually begins to open up to her classmates and talk to different people. She is grateful to Kazehaya, and idolizes him for giving her the opportunities to make many close friends, which come to include Yano, Yoshida, Kazehaya and Ryu. Forever humble and unassuming, Sawako is very modest towards her newfound friendships that Yoshida actually has to tell her point-blank: “Did you know? Without realizing it … we were already friends!” Yano and Yoshida admit that Sawako’s ‘like’ for Kazehaya is probably stronger than the ‘like’ she expresses for themselves.
- In chapter 34, Kazehaya practically confesses his feelings right in front of her, but Sawako believes it is just a misunderstanding and that he simply likes her as a friend. After everything is cleared up, the couple officially starts dating, though rumors pop up that Sawako somehow used black magic to get him. In chapter 71, she overhears her classmate asking if Shota and her are steadily dating, and she becomes confused about their relationship. After Shota turns away when she grabs his coat, she cries and admits that she wants to be with him, and asks if he is still in love with her. In her shock, Shota kisses her 4 times.
- Shota Kazehaya
- Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa (anime), Haruma Miura (live-action)
- Kazehaya is Sawako’s outgoing and friendly classmate, and also her idol. His popularity is so widespread that during middle school, the many girls that liked him had to form a “Kazehaya is Everyone’s” alliance in order to maintain some level of peace among his admirers; more than half of these girls now attend his high school. Kazehaya falls in love with Sawako shortly after meeting her, and admits (though not to Sawako) his feelings, unaware that she feels the same for him. During their second year of high school, he begins to wonder if she actually does like him as she does not give him chocolates on Valentine’s Day, not knowing that she had been too nervous to give him any. After the ordeal, he seemingly becomes calmer and shows a depressed and expressionless face more often. However, after being confronted by Ryu (influenced by Chizuru) and Pin, Kazehaya goes to Sawako as his friends jokingly remark that he likes Sawako; however, Kazehaya takes the remark seriously and agrees, subsequently confessing directly to Sawako. However, after Sawako’s misunderstanding of his confession, he believes she rejected him. However, in chapter 40, he is finally able to confess his feelings to her, and they are officially dating. Kazehaya is prone to become easily jealous and overprotective of Sawako, and deeply treasures her. He seems to avoid Sawako because he wants to be careful in loving her because in chapter 58, the two almost end up kissing and he is worried that Sawako may end up thinking too much about it. In chapter 71, Sawako starts asking if he is still in love with her, he quickly kisses her.
- Ayane Yano
- Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro (anime), Natsuna Watanabe (live-action)
- Ayane is a close friend of Sawako. She is the arguably the most mature of the group and she has a boyfriend in college as well as having her ears pierced multiple times. Initially Shiina conceived of Yano and Yoshida as a pair, and in the first two chapters the two are difficult to tell apart. She then redrafted the characters, combing Yano’s hair and styling it in a fashion that looks like a pony-tail. Kurumi starts a rumor that Ayane played around with more than 100 guys in middle school, and that she and Yoshida are thug underlings of Sawako’s in high school. Perceptive and intelligent, Ayane tends to take just enough information to leave others wondering, thus forcing them to move forward. She was also able to figure out that it was Ume who spread the rumors, getting Ume to admit it, and discovering that Sawako, “liked” Kazehaya. Although she is usually calm and collected, she is easily infuriated if someone hurts Sawako and does not hesitate to attack the one she believes is responsible (frequently Kazehaya) with kicks and sharp words. She is also fairly intimidating when angry, being called scary by Chizuru a number of times. Later on she breaks up with her boyfriend, who had begun to become too possessive of her: calling her all times of the day, wondering what she has been up to, and checking if she has been with any guys. After she suggests they break up, he slaps her across the face, and when he tries to apologize and asks her back, she realizes that the man she liked was not her boyfriend but rather who he was when they started dating. After Sawako and Shota finally become a couple, Ayane comforts the girls that were potentially Sawako’s rivals. When Chizuru tells her she is too nice, Ayane denies it, but is surprised when Pin affirms she is nice, and she starts developing feelings for him. When schoolmate Mogi confesses to her, she agrees to date him, which shocks everybody. However, it appears that she is not in love with him, and her feelings towards Pin seem to increase. However, starting from chapter 59, it has been strongly hinted that Kento has feelings for Ayane. In chapter 71, she told Sawako that she’ll go home with Kento. After that, Pin tells Sawako that maybe they got together already.
- Chizuru Yoshida
- Voiced by: Yuko Sanpei (anime), Misako Renbutsu (live-action)
- Yoshida is another close friend of Sawako. She is the tomboy of the group, and she even admits this when Ryu calls them brothers, where she argues about who is the older rather than that she is not a ‘brother’. She can be very emotional at times, usually seen humorously crying after a touching moment between her friends. She has a soft spot for innocent mannered people, so she takes a near instant liking to Sawako. In Kurumi’s fake rumors it was passed around that she was a former Yankee, though Chizuru just takes the rumor as a means of scaring people off or as a joke for her friends. One of the rumors states that Chizuru holds a record of ninety nine straight wins on being able to beat a guy on a one on one fight (Chizuru took credit of this rumor, she herself stated that her streak was broken when she lost to her hundredth opponent, Ryu Sanada). Chizuru is mostly on the slower side of things; she did not realize that Sawako liked Kazehaya until after the Kurumi confrontation and that Kazehaya liked Sawako (even though she and Ayane planned many events for them) until late in the series, after they started their second year of high school. She is a close childhood friend with Ryu Sanada, her neighbor, and she went to the same middle school as Kazehaya and Ryu. Because of this, Ryu’s family regards Chizuru and her family as their own and vice versa. She has a crush on Ryu’s brother, Toru, since she was very young knowing the age gap between them. When Toru visits with his fiancée, she realizes that he will only see their relationship as just siblings. She is very dense to the fact that Ryu loves her, even interpreting him saying “I love you” as an expression of their friendship. When he confesses to her again, this time making it clear, it shocks her to the point where it becomes difficult to talk to him normally as she never thought about him like that and believes that they can’t go back to how they were before ever again. But she begins to grow feelings for Ryu and in chapter 88 she confesses to Ryu and he kisses her.
- Ryu Sanada
- Voiced by: Yuichi Nakamura (anime), Haru Aoyama (live-action)
- Ryu is also member of Sawako’s group of friends. He is the son of the ramen shop owner of Chizuru Yoshida’s favourite ramen shop. He is quiet most of the time and rarely talks, but still can communicate well with Sawako, as they both don’t talk much anyways. Ryu and Kazehaya became friends when they were on the baseball team during middle school. He is also close childhood friends with Chizuru and does not deny having feelings for her, such as simply smiling when Sawako asks if he and Chizuru are dating. He later confirms his love when he confesses that he likes Chizuru to Sawako. While his love is one-sided, he is very patient with Chizuru realizing that Chizuru probably won’t like him in a romantic sense, at least not right away. He’s more than willing to comfort Chizuru if she’s depressed, though he would rather have her mad at him as he knows Chizuru can vent out her emotions better. Ryu also seems to like animals a lot; when Shota was going to walk “Maru”, his adopted puppy, home with Sawako, Chizuru pulled Ryu away telling him he’s going to walk with Ayane and her instead. While being pulled away from Shota’s puppy, he cried out for it. A running gag in the series is that he has a very hard time remembering a person’s name (with the exception of Kazehaya and Chizuru as he’s known them for a long time, and after some time later Sawako and Ayane). In chapter 43, he casually tells Chizuru that he loves her and she is totally shocked. However, in chapter 59, he truly confesses his love for her, but she replies saying, “I have never looked at you in that way”. In response, he smiles and says, “I know.”
- Kazuichi “Pin” Arai
- Voiced by: Yūki Ono (anime), Arata (live-action)
- Arai is the temporary homeroom teacher for Sawako’s class, taking over when the previous homeroom teacher became sick during the summer holidays while Sawako was helping him. Sawako, being formal, always refers to him as “Arai-sensei,” while almost everyone else refers to him by his nickname, “Pin.” Pin is a great fan of baseball as well as the school baseball team’s coach. He used to be part of Kazehaya’s father’s league team, so he has known Shota since when he was young. A loud and eccentric man prone to believing the silliest things, Pin apparently enjoys interrupting people. He nicknames the puppy that Sawako and Kazehaya find by the river “Pedro Martínez” after the legendary baseball pitcher, which Sawako suggests be shortened to “Maru”. A running gag through the series, despite being a teacher he is prone to actions that are more suited to a teenager, such as eagerly running to the bathroom when he heard about a fight yet became depressed when Sawako and her friends were making up rather than fighting. He and Ayane tend to run into each other a lot, often bickering loudly as they walk away, though on rare occasions he will give her advice (though it comically ends in his ruining the moment to praise himself). He also has a false impression that Sawako is an exorcist. But for how he acts, Arai is rather insightful and is very helpful when it comes to his students, especially when he was suggesting career paths for Sawako, Ayane and Chizuru that best suit their talents and abilities. Pin also has a habit of believing girls in Sawakos year fancy him and often turns them down when they speak to him, stating that he’s just too old for them.